Lady Bulldogs rebuffed again

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Cornersville's (10) Breanne Dunkleman tries to drive around Richland's (1) Riley Neely in the second quarter. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

After failing to break the 40-point mark in each of their last two games, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs had their offense muzzled once again on Friday night when they dropped a 41-34 decision to District rival Richland in Lynnville.

The Lady Raiders (9-10, 8-1 District) led nearly the entire contest and built a 14-9 advantage in the first half before opening up a 30-17 cushion early in the fourth quarter.

Cornersville (5-12, 3-5 District) rallied to slice the deficit to 32-29 with 3:30 left, but Richland staved off the Lady Bulldogs down the stretch by outscoring CHS 9-5 the rest way to complete the sweep of the season series.

It's about scoring

Although CHS committed only 11 turnovers, outrebounded the Lady Raiders 34-27, and held a 12-6 edge on the offensive glass, the Lady Bulldogs were simply unable to put the ball in the basket and shot a woeful 20 percent (11-of-56) from the field overall, which included a 3-of-23 effort from three-point range.

"We're frustrated offensively. Our shots just aren't falling and I think we're starting to press some," said Cornersville coach Peyton Newton. "We missed a lot of easy shots and had several layups roll out. When you're not hitting shots, you've got to play almost perfect defense."

Senior guard Breanne Dunkleman led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points and three steals. Carson Coble followed Dunkleman with eight points, while Morgan Terry and Emma Mitchell both tallied five points with Terry grabbing a game high 11 rebounds. Gabby King rounded out the scoring for CHS with four points.

Richland, meanwhile, finished with 16 field goals on 33 percent shooting, hit only 2-of-16 attempts from beyond the arc, and committed 14 turnovers. Shelby Allen paced three Lady Raider players in double figures with 13 points, while Hannah Helton and Shannon Higgins each added 11 points.

Slow beginning

Both stumbled out of the gates offensively, as Richland held a 6-4 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to a pair of baskets from Allen and a Helton layup.

Cornersville's (15) Gabby King fires up a three-pointer in the fourth quarter against Richland.

Coble buried a three from the right wing early in the second period to give the Lady Bulldogs a brief 7-6 advantage, but the Lady Raiders outscored CHS 8-2 over the final seven minutes of the stanza to take a 14-9 lead into halftime.

After Richland stretched their lead to 16-9 early in the second half, Cornersville cut the deficit to 16-12 on a layup by Terry and a Mitchell free throw before the Lady Raiders responded with a 9-3 spurt to open up a 25-15 advantage late in the third quarter.

Following two free throws by Terry, which narrowed the gap to 25-17, Allen knocked down a trey in the waning seconds of the third period before Higgins scored on a layup at the start of the fourth quarter to stretch Richland's lead to 30-17.

Closing in

The Lady Bulldogs tried to claw their way back into the contest and put together a 12-2 run on the strength of a Coble three and four points apiece from Dunkleman and Mitchell to whittle the deficit to 32-29.

The Lady Raiders, though, mounted an immediate response and rattled off seven straight points to open up a 39-29 advantage with :37 left.

Dunkleman canned a trey to close the gap to 39-32 with :29 remaining, but Richland extended their lead to 41-32 on two free throws by Allen before claiming the 41-34 victory.